small screen standouts: fall tv 2016

Ahh fall – pumpkin spice everything, a chill in the air, and new TV! I’ve taken it upon myself to watch most of the new shows the networks have put on their slate, and save you guys from wasting your time on the ones that are not going to last very long. Let’s get to the good ones!

1. This is Us

this-is-us-gifsource – ‘This is Us gifs’ is a fun google – lots of One Direction

Talking to my friends, it seems like everyone was most excited for ‘This is Us’ to premiere this fall. I’m not sure if it was the 1-2 punch of 90’s nostaliga in Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia or the fact that it gives off serious ‘Parenthood’ vibes that was making everyone so excited, but they were.

I’m happy to say that the hype was well deserved. This show is AMAZING. I’m a big sucker for family shows that leave you with happy tears at some point in every episode, and ‘This is Us’ definitely delivers on that front. The first two episodes had twist endings – I’m not sure if that is going to continue. All I know is my heart can’t take that many  more shocks. Lucky for me (and you!), the show has already been picked up for a full season, so you don’t have to worry about it getting cancelled just as you’re getting sucked in.

2. Speechless


Based on the previews, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about ‘Speechless’. Its a half hour comedy that follows a family with three children, one who has cerebral palsy. Upon watching the show, it was important to me that J.J., the son with cerebral palsy, be a character vs. a plot device for the show to use.  I can say that I was pleasantly surprised, J.J. is probably the funniest character of them all. The show allows him to be just like any other teenage character on TV, with interests in girls and indepencence, who just happens to be a little different than everyone else. The family is goofy and wacky, very similar to its lead in family, the Goldbergs, but ultimately care about each other and have each others’ backs. Bonus points for featuring the Bachelor at the end of episode 2! ‘Speechless’ has also been picked up for a full season!

3. The Good Place


The Good Place is an NBC comedy, featuring mega-watt stars Ted Danson and Kristen Bell. Bell stars as Eleanor, a recently deceased woman who has accidentally found herself in “The Good Place”, where everything is perfect and easy. The Good Place is reserved for only the best of the best, all of the U.S Presidents (except Lincoln) and even Florence Nightingale didn’t make the cut. We find out fairly early that Eleanor has been mistaken for some one else, and her life on Earth didn’t exactly qualify for her afterlife to be spent in the Good Place. Everyone in the Good Place meets their soulmate, and Eleanor’s is Chidi, an ethics professor.  As her soulmate, Eleanor trusts Chidi to keep her secret, and she confides in him that she is not supposed to be there. However, not wanting to leave, she counts on him to help her become a better person in order to earn her stay.

The show gives me Parks & Rec vibes, which is enough of a reason to keep me around. I’m interested to see where the storyline goes – as a sitcom that takes place in a perfect place, conflict has to arise from the characters more than the environment. I’m excited to see what stories they have planned.

I watched a few other shows that I definitely wouldn’t recommend (Son of Zorn – unless you like cartoon violence, Kevin Can Wait) and some I’m giving a couple more chances before I ultimately decide (Pitch). A few more shows are premiering in October, and there are a few others I didn’t get to, so I hope to find some more gems in a couple weeks.

Have you guys been watching any of these shows? Any shows I’m missing or should give another chance? Let me know!